As a trusted long-term partner in the space of Nerve Health, P&G Health has initiated its interventions to raise awareness during the Neuropathy Awareness Week, in the months of May-June, 2022, to start and sustain conversation around the subject. In addition to this, P&G Health will be adopting the purple ribbon to commemorate Neuropathy Awareness Week and create a visual marker for the campaign.
Peripheral Neuropathy (including Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy) is the result of damage to the nerves which presents itself as numbness, tingling, prickling, and burning sensations in the hands and feet. For someone suffering from Peripheral Neuropathy, the effects impact their quality of life as they are not able to go about their daily lives comfortably. Symptoms of nerve damage include numbness, tingling, prickling, and burning sensations in the hands and feet. Sufferers report impacts on their quality of life including reduced physical abilities and poor sleep. With Diabetes Mellitus being the leading cause1 of nerve health issues, its increasing prevalence is closely linked to the rise in the number of diabetic patients. Besides diabetes mellitus, B vitamins deficiencies and certain medications are other high-risk factors leading to peripheral nerve damage. Various epidemiological studies from India showed the wide prevalence of Peripheral Neuropathy varying from 5 to 2400 per 10,000 population in different community studies.2 The estimates of the prevalence of Neuropathy in India vary widely from 13.1% to 45.0% in different populations which could be attributed to different types of diabetes.
Through P&G Health’s Nerve Health Survey commissioned last year with Heal Heath and Hansa Research, it was found that there was a lack of awareness of Nerve Health and Neuropathy and its symptoms were mistakenly dismissed by consumers as muscular or blood circulation related issues. Neuropathy is also often misdiagnosed due to a lack of awareness and urgency amongst healthcare professionals or due to the lack of screening tools.
Elaborating on this, Milind Thatte, managing director, Procter & Gamble Health, said, “We have observed low awareness Peripheral Neuropathy and hence it is our constant endeavour to help educate consumers as well the healthcare fraternity about the causes and early symptoms identification. A large population of the country today suffers from Vitamin B deficiencies without knowing the causes and the risks associated with this condition including nerve damage. We are delighted to be associated with the Association of Physicians in India to help spread this awareness and education, which we hope will be helpful to overcome the prevalent challenges around its diagnosis.”
Commenting on the collaboration, general secretary of Association of Physicians of India, Dr Agam Vora, said, “We have been witnessing the work P&G Health has put in to increase awareness in India around Neuropathy and nerve health. We are extremely happy to partner with them as they continue with their activities on educating stakeholders about the importance of Neuropathy and how to understand nerve care better. Peripheral Neuropathy is often underestimated and diagnosed late, making it imperative for the patients as well as the healthcare practitioners to address this cause jointly.”
Two Nerve Talk shows have been conducted as part of the Neuropathy Awareness Week with experts from India and Sri Lanka who shared experiences from the region to impart rich takeaways. Over 4000 healthcare practitioners attended these shows live. There were also Neuropathy Diagnostic workshops organised exclusively for students pursuing post-graduate medical courses, wherein experts shared their experiences on ways to diagnose Neuropathy early on. The robust panel saw 8 renowned KOLs, and stalwarts in the field of Neuropathy share their expertise across 5 centers where these shows were conducted, helping bridge the unmet needs for timely identification and diagnosis of Peripheral Neuropathy.